a;t fox Tea Toc Water Cream via Tester Korea

a;t fox — Tea Toc Water Cream Review

Over the next week or so, I will be reviewing several Korean beauty products sent to me by one of my favorite Korean beauty online shops, Tester Korea. I have reviewed my experience with them in the past; they have a different selection of brands from a few others that I use, and their prices are very competitive. My favorite thing about them is you can request brands and products and they’ll try to get them in stock!

Today’s review is for a;t fox‘s Tea Toc Water Cream. I’d never heard of this Korean brand before, but apparently they do have a presence in a couple of US-based CVS and UK-based Boots drugstores. The brand’s tagline is “afternoon tea time!” and many of their products include tea as a key ingredient.

a;t fox Tea Toc Water Cream

Tea Toc Water Cream is a lightweight, translucent green gel that claims to reduce sebum and moisturize the skin. It contains green tea (Camellia sinensis) as an active ingredient, as well as a veritable cornucopia of additional plant extracts such as Centella asiatica (of which I’m a fan), licorice, aloe, rosemary, and chamomile. I was slightly worried about the presence of rosemary extract, since I have had allergic reactions to other products containing it (although I cannot be sure rosemary was the culprit). Luckily, I have had no reactions to Tea Toc Water Cream. Either rosemary isn’t really an issue for my skin, or it’s not present in the right quantity (or perhaps form?) in this product.

The cream can be used as a normal facial moisturizer, or as a sleeping mask. The instructions advise using twice the amount for use as a sleeping mask.

a;t fox Tea Toc Water Cream

Read More »

fivezero's Sephora VIB Sale Haulage (November 2017)

Haulage! Sephora VIB Sale (November 2017)

As a VIB member at Sephora, the annual 20% off VIB sale was open to me on Friday, November 10, and I’ve since placed two orders, even though I was trying to limit myself to just the first. This always happens, and I blame November being my birthday month so usually I give myself a little more license to splurge.

Sephora VIB Sale, November 2017

(Look at that fine print! I never realized this but we “clients” are limited to 1 Dyson item and 5 Pat McGrath eyeshadow palettes per transaction; Canadians are also limited to 3 Fresh, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior items per transaction.)

Of course, for the last couple of months, I’ve been anticipating this sale. I’ve been chucking things in and out of my shopping cart (it helps that I don’t bother to consider brands I can get at Shoppers Drug Mart / beautyBOUTIQUE, like Urban Decay, Dior, Estée Lauder, Smashbox, and Clarins).

Here’s the list of stuff I hauled, the freebies, and the stuff I wanted to haul but didn’t!

Once again, I bought more lipstick (granted, they were all marked down before the 20% discount) even though I need ’em like I need a hole in the head.

Stuff I Hauled

Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette [C$59]
I’ve loved the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette that I got during last November’s VIB sale! It was a no-brainer to get the Sweet Peach palette this year.

Nails Inc. Sparkle Like a Unicorn Set with Nail Polish, Sheet Mask, Lipstick
Nails Inc. Sparkle Like a Unicorn Set: Illuminating Sheet Mask, Mini Nail Polishes (2 × 5 mL) in Unicorn VibesUnicorn Dot Com, Lip Trippin’ Iridescent Strobe Lipstick in Unicorn Tribe [C$21]
I already picked up the previous Sparkle Like a Unicorn set, so obviously I had to get this one, too. It comes with a lipstick and a sheet mask! I’ve never tried any non-nail polish things from Nails Inc., so this will be interesting.

Read More »

fivezero's Ipsy Glam Bag "Like. A. Boss.", September 2017

Ipsy — September 2017 Glam Bag “Like. A. Boss.”

Before I start with my September Glam Bag, I just wanted to provide an update on my missing Ipsy bag from August. When August 23 rolled around, I noticed that Landmark tracking said it was delivered on the 17th but I had never received it. I contacted Ipsy and they immediately sent out a new bag for me, which arrived by the end of the month. I was super happy with their customer service—the bag was exactly what I was supposed to get, except for an item from theBalm which they replaced with a different item from the same brand. I will have to save the extra items for a giveaway.

Well, it turns out that earlier this month, my original Ipsy bag arrived! So much for Landmark’s tracking, huh? (I’ve had an issue with them before on a Julep order—Julep were similarly wonderful and quickly sent a new package; the original has never turned up.) I’d never heard of this Landmark company until this year; suddenly I’m getting more packages from the US handled by them. They also never responded to my inquiries regarding my lost Julep package. Hrmph.

Anyway, September’s Ipsy Glam Bag (referral link) arrived in good time (well, the 19th, which is a little later than usual but I did have a points redemption item in the mix, too).

Ipsy Glam Bag, September 2017, Like. A. Boss.

Ipsy September 2017 Glam Bag: “Like. A. Boss.”

Image: ipsy.com

What I Redeemed Points For

  • ColourPop × Amanda Steele Pressed Powder Shadow Palette in Weekend Warrior (4 × 1.5 g full size; US$18 and recently discontinued) [750 pts]

What I Received

  • Beauty For Real I-LINE 24-7 Eyeliner in Champagne Buzz (0.28 g full size; US$14)
  • ColourPop Lippie Stix in Ipsy-exclusive shade Glam Bag (1 g full size; US$5)
  • E Nature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack (12 mL sample; 75 mL for US$28 at Sokoglam, plus 20% off code below or at official US site)
  • Pretty Woman Nail Polish in Girl Boss, formerly known as Cherry Bean (10 mL full size; US$7.99)
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Radiance (0.25 oz; 1 oz for US$39)
  • Ipsy makeup bag

Glam Bag Cost

$10 + $4.99 (shipping to Canada) = US$14.99

Total Bag Value

$14 + $5 + $4.48 + $7.99 + $9.75 = US$41.22

Pretty typical value this month. I gotta say I’m pretty happy that the Canadian dollar has been moving up against the US dollar, lately! Whee!

fivezero's Ipsy Glam Bag, September 2017, Like. A. Boss.

fivezero’s Ipsy September 2017 Glam Bag

Image: ipsy.com

Ipsy Coupon Codes

  • Beauty For Real: 20% off any purchase with code IPSY20 (through 10/31/2017)
  • Pretty Woman: 30% off any purchase with code PWGLAM (through 10/31/2017; US & CA only)
  • Sokoglam: 20% off any purchase with code IPSTERS (through 10/09/2017; one-time use only)

There were no codes for my ColourPop and Smashbox items, so here are a couple of other good ones I saw:

  • Catrice: 25% off any purchase with code IPSY25 (through 10/31/2017; US only)
  • Ciaté: 30% off any purchase with code IPSTER (through 10/31/2017; US & CA only)

Here are some more detailed product shots:

Read More »

Haulage! Sweet Corea (May 2017)

Haulage! Sweet Corea (May 2017)

Living in Canada, the online beauty shopping options tend to be quite restricted compared with the US and, I think, even the UK. Here, I most often shop online with Sephora, beautyBOUTIQUE (Shoppers Drug Mart), and Well.ca—though I used to shop more with Hudson’s Bay—with the occasional order from Nail Polish Canada and, more recently, DECIEM. There are some international sites I’ll occasionally shop with, but generally I avoid those because I dislike having to pay high duties and customs fees, which are sometimes levied on incoming packages valued at CA$20 or more.

[Side note: Boy, do I miss ordering nail polish from the discount trifecta: 8ty8beauty (do not forget the “beauty”!!), Head2ToeBeauty, and TransDesign/NailSupplies! Shipping costs have just become too prohibitive over the years. I occasionally order from NailSupplies and have it delivered to my US relatives, but it’s happening less and less since my visitors don’t always have check-in luggage when they fly.]

love shopping online. I love the convenience, the ability to easily research products before purchasing, and the online deals. We also don’t have a car, and anyway, driving/busing around to hunt down products is not my idea of a good time. All this is why I love shopping at Korean online beauty stores. They sell so many brands and products, making it way too easy to enjoy browsing, making a wishlist, filling up a shopping cart, and eventually placing an order. The hardest part is simply waiting for an order to arrive! (Not a problem for me: I enjoy the actual research and shopping, then I promptly forget about the order and get a lovely surprise in a few weeks when it finally arrives.)

Also, I’ve never been charged duties on my orders from South Korea! I used to try to keep the package values under $30, but it appears that Canada has a deal in place with South Korea (2014’s Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement) so that goods made in South Korea generally are no longer subject to duties.

Read More »

fivezero's Cosmetic Love Haulage (April 2017) Innisfree, Benton

Haulage! Cosmetic Love (April 2015)

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been hauling a little too much, lately! ColourPop, Deciem (plus I’m still waiting on two orders containing their new foundations), Sephora, and tarte were my biggest weaknesses. I love a great sale!

But online Korean shops have been another: I’ve ordered from Jolse and again from Cosmetic Love (referral link).

I should be winding down now for the next month or three…

Meanwhile, here’s what I ordered last month from Cosmetic Love. This package arrived in a mere 18 days from Seoul to Toronto, which is awesome! My Jolse order took about a month. Obviously, Canadian customs is the main reason for the length of time it takes for the packages to arrive, so it’s probably just the luck of the draw. Both shops shipped my orders very quickly. (Of course, Jolse aren’t doing free shipping to Canada for the time being, so Cosmetic Love remains my first choice shop.)

Prices are all in USD. I ordered during an Innisfree sale, if you can’t tell!

  • Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream (10x samples) [$4.95]
  • The Face Shop Trendy Nails in Trolls Collection TR001 [$5.15]
  • Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care SPF50 PA+++ [$14.16]
  • Innisfree Real Color Nail in 32 [$3.90]
  • Innisfree Wine Jelly Sleeping Pack [$13.55]

Read More »

Mamonde Rose Honey Sleeping Mask

Mamonde — Rose Honey Sleeping Mask Review

I’d never tried a sleeping mask before this one by Korean brand Mamonde. I think the jar just looked so pretty, and rose as an ingredient in anything tends to sway me!

The jar is a cute, beehive-inspired hexagonal shape, presumably because the product contains honey, and the design is all around adorable in a vintage way. The jar is glass and the lid is metal, for bonus tactile points. It’s a surprisingly small jar, containing 80 mL, as you can see in this photo I took with a Revlon nail polish for scale:

Mamonde Rose Honey Sleeping Mask, with Revlon Nail Enamel for scale
Mamonde Rose Honey Sleeping Mask, with Revlon Nail Enamel for scale. (Sorry, I don’t remember which Revlon it was. I’m guessing it was Dreamer.)

Read More »